Tag: Book Review

Book Review: The Jesus Who Surprises by Dee Brestin

img_8482The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture is an excellent study – one I enjoyed from beginning to end.

The author looks at the entire Bible to show us glimpses of Jesus where we may not expect to see Him. She masterfully shows that the Bible is indeed one connected story, one of hope, redemption, and love. She also approaches important topics like suffering, and she shows how those things produce a joy like none other (something I know from experience). I thoroughly enjoyed this study and repeatedly found myself excited and encouraged by her words. That isn’t something I can often say.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

When we realize that the Lord is in control, a peace comes to us, despite the suffering. We realize that this shaking is temporary and that we have an inheritance that can never be taken from us. (Page 123)

I especially loved – and learned from – the third part, looking at Isaiah and what is in store for us. She summed up the whole study so well in the last sentence:

My hope is that seeing this same story from Genesis to Revelation will give you great confidence in the reliability of the Scriptures and the truths they hold. For the Jesus that surprised the two on the road to Emmaus, and surprises us in our everyday lives, is not at all finished surprising us.”

Dee also challenges the reader to see Jesus at work every day – something I’ve practiced for years thanks to missional training I received. He is always at work, you just have to see it. This practice alone can significantly change one’s perspective.

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This beautiful study can be done individually or as a group. Dee provides thoughtful questions to encourage a deeper study of Scripture at the end of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of her studies.

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I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: “Blessed Are The Misfits” by Brant Hansen

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Have you ever felt like you were alone, like you didn’t fit in? Have you ever wondered why so many people seem to have a different experience in church than you do?

You are not alone.

Brant Hansen, the radio personality and author of Unoffendable (another amazing book), has done it again. He has put into words what so many of us have felt but couldn’t express.

For years I felt like I was failing because I didn’t love evangelism. The thought of talking to strangers about Jesus felt like torture. I wondered if my faith was authentic. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I discovered that I’m actually an introvert, that I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to strangers about Jesus – I didn’t want to talk to strangers at ALL. 

And there is NOTHING wrong with that. Chapter Seven told me so (and the Bible, but still 😉 ).

Brant discusses many aspects of life in which people feel like misfits – things that no one has ever really discussed before. And I think you need to read it. You can order it here!

If you don’t feel like a misfit, maybe you know someone who does…so buy a copy or two to give as gifts. Someone you know needs to read this book, and I bet it’s you.

Book Review: You Carried Me

book cover for You Carried MeWhen I was given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad that I did.

You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden is the incredible story of an abortion survivor and her quest to find answers. She learned about her almost-tragic beginning from her adoptive family and she writes openly and honestly about how she processed this information and how she has used it to encourage other women along the way.

You can see an interview with her here.

I read the entire book in one sitting because I was so drawn in and touched by her life. I highly encourage you to pick up a copy and read it – AND, share it with someone who might need the encouragement that this book provides.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

Book Review: Love Letters From God

Above all, I want our children to grow up loving God and knowing that He loves them unconditionally. I want them to love reading their Bibles and to live out what The Bible says. Books like this one are going to be perfect in creating that foundation in their lives!

Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist is a fabulous and creative book that brings The Bible to life for kids at their level while still maintaining accurate theology throughout. The author takes the most important stories and tells them in a kid-friendly way that will hold their attention and captivate them.

Each story also contains a flap for them to lift up and under the flap is a letter from God with a space to write their name.

I love this concept and cannot wait for my children to be old enough to enjoy this book!

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review: Barren Among the Fruitful

Infertility is a heartbreaking condition that many women in my life have experienced, or are currently going through. In fact, before we conceived Tori we were wondering if we were ever going to be able to conceive as it took over a year and a half for us to become pregnant. There are so many women who struggle with this, and that’s why I loved this study. It is so relevant and important.

Barren Among the Fruitful is a real, honest look at infertility and is written by someone who knows the pain firsthand. She infuses humor into every chapter by titling them with questions often asked of women.

Amanda uses personal stories from women who have struggled with infertility or miscarriage to create a powerful book that will help women navigate this difficult road.

I definitely recommend this book, and I will be passing my copy along to a friend who is on this journey right now.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review: Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions

Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson is an essential read for any parent. Parents are the first people that their kids will talk to (in most cases) about things they encounter in life, and this book gives age-appropriate responses based on what the Bible says about each topic in an effort to help you adequately answer their questions.

What I loved the most about this book was the fact that they chose some of the hardest questions children might ask and they tackled them thoroughly – questions about divorce, sexuality, death, suffering, etc. I want to be prepared when our children ask us questions like these, and I know this book will be a fantastic resource.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Teachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith

“There’s no way to avoid the intrusion of popular culture into our homes and families, but we don’t have to let these instances exploit and influence our children. Instead, we can use those unplanned opportunities to instill conscience, character, and faith into the hearts and minds of the children God has entrusted to our care.” (pg. 2)

In this day and age, you can’t be too careful when it comes to the things to which children are exposed. The battle to protect their innocence is a difficult one to fight. This book by Marybeth Hicks is invaluable! While I am a few years away from having to put the teachings of this book into practice, it’s definitely not too soon to start preparing for what’s ahead.

More than ever, kids are exposed to content and concepts in the media and the surrounding world that go directly against the Bible and Christian values. How can parents use these instances as opportunities to teach? This book breaks it down in clear language and talks about areas such as media, school, friends, sports, family, and the real world and how you can use these situations to build character in your child.

I especially enjoyed the chapter about media because it is an ever-growing part of everyday life. More than ever, people are connected to screens (whether through smartphones, television, etc.), and it’s increasingly difficult to avoid exposure. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote: “As Christians, we’re called to integrate our media consumption into our lives in ways that support our faith and values, and not as a perpetual temptation or an avenue of corruption.” (pg. 61) After reading this chapter, I feel better equipped to teach our daughter when the time comes.

It’s incredibly important to guard the hearts and minds of our children until they are old enough to maturely handle the content, and this book provides great advice about how to accomplish that. If you’re a parent of children under the age of 18, I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition

The NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition is a wonderful, fresh way to encounter the Bible. I love the concept of a chronological Bible because it makes it come alive in a brand new way as you read about the events in the order in which they happened. History is understood much more clearly in context, and this provides that context.

The readings are broken into 365 sections, and each section is followed by a short “Reflection” section to help you process what you just read. The NIV is easy to comprehend and it flows well, making each reading even more enjoyable.

This Bible will definitely help me read my Bible consistently and to experience the Bible in a fresh, new way!

I definitely recommend this to anyone – even if you’ve read through the Bible many times, this is worth your consideration.

I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Goodnight, Ark

Goodnight, Ark by Jane Sassi is a fun bedtime story for children based on the biblical account of Noah’s ark. 

During the rain, the animals are startled and all end up in bed with Noah, which makes for an amusing story with great illustrations to go with it. The book presents a scenario that children can relate to as many children end up being afraid of storms at some point in their lives. 

I loved the illustrations – they are so detailed and colorful. The story is told in rhyme and is easy to read.

While this isn’t an aspect of the ark that the Bible discusses, it is still a fun story that kids of all ages will enjoy. 

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.